Does Myasthenia Gravis Go Into Remission?
Myasthenia gravis is a long lasting neuromuscular disorder, characterized by various levels of weakness of the skeletal muscles. Although myasthenia gravis is a long term disorder but in some patients gradual improvement is seen, and in some cases there is complete recovery in the patients even without any symptom. This self recovery process without any symptom is known as remission. Both males and females have equal chances of getting into remission from Myasthenia Gravis.(1)
Now we know that myasthenia gravis can go into remission, we should also know the reasons behind it and how it happens. To know more about the remission process we first need to know about the anatomy of Myasthenia Gravis, its causes, symptoms and treatment.
Anatomy of Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a long term neuromuscular disorder which shows different levels of weakness of the skeletal muscles. The most common muscles which are affected by myasthenia gravis are those of the face, near eyes, and around the throat. Weakening of these muscles creates problem in swallowing, drooping eyelids, dual vision, speech problems and also trouble in walking. Myasthenia Gravis is neither contagious nor inherited; however it can happen to two members of the same family at same or different time.
Causes Of Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia gravis is caused when there is improper impulse conduction to the muscles. It is basically an autoimmune disease which can occur at any age but it occurs mainly at the age of 40 in females and age around 60 in males.
The foremost symptoms of myasthenia gravis include:
- Drooping of single or both the eyelids; this condition is known as Ptosis.
- Weakening of the muscles around eyes responsible for movement of the eyes, this leads to double or blurred vision. This condition is called Diplopia.
- Problem in swallowing food and drinking
- Changes in facial expressions
- Impaired speech (Dysarthria)
Myasthenia Gravis Getting Into Remission
As stated earlier that in some patients the myasthenia gravis gets into remission and there is a complete recovery. Although the experts are looking for conditions and factors which lead to remission in patients, but they have not yet clearly found out that what causes the symptoms of myasthenia gravis to completely disappear and total recovery of the patient. If these conditions are clearly defined, there will be a great help in managing the disease. Some studies of MG remission have revealed that if the disease appears before the age of 40 or if it is diagnosed early, say within a year then the chances of remission are more. Both men and women have same chances of remission.
It is also seen that people who undergo Thymectomy (surgical removal of the thymus gland) can achieve medication free remission of MG. The surgical removal of the Thymus gland increases the rate of remission up to 30-70%, improves the likelihood of patients with MG and clinical improvements are also seen.
Some studies have also shown that a calcium free diet and proper consumption of vitamin D have resulted in myasthenia gravis remission in many patients.(1)
All the above conditions and factors have shown myasthenia gravis remission in only few experimental treatment cases, but do not apply as a fixed treatment for all the patients of myasthenia gravis. This means there is no fixed permanent treatment for myasthenia gravis remission.
Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder in which the antibodies block or destroy the receptors for acetylcholine at various neuromuscular points, leading to disrupted or no muscle contraction. Remission is self recovery process which results in recovery from myasthenia gravis without any symptom. The chances of remission are almost equal in both males and females. The experts have not yet found the exact causes of myasthenia gravis symptoms to completely disappear and total recovery of the patient. If these conditions are clearly defined, there will be a great help in managing the disease. The factors for remission differ in different patients so there is no fixed permanent treatment for remission.
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